Sheriff: 3-year-old Arkansas girl dies after spanking, suspect arrested

Jeffery Tucker

CHICOT COUNTY, Ark. (KATV/SBG) - A man is facing a capital murder charge in connection to the death of a 3-year-old girl, who authorities say died after apparently being spanked.

The Chicot County Sheriff's Department reports 3-year-old Journee Orji was admitted to the local emergency room by her mother and grandmother on Tuesday.

Authorities say Journee's mother, Jasmine Evans, stated her boyfriend, Jeffery Tucker, had "spanked" the child earlier in the day and later left in Evans' vehicle.

Due to her injuries, Journee was airlifted to Arkansas Children's hospital and died on Wednesday evening.

A "BOLO" (be on the lookout) for Tucker and the vehicle was issued to surrounding agencies.

He was taken into custody by Chicot County authorities in Eudora, Arkansas.

A probable cause hearing and first appearance was held for Tucker on Thursday in circuit court.

Authorities say he was charged with capital murder and given no bond. He will be held in Jefferson County jail until his trial date.

The sheriff posted on the department's Facebook page, "I know that many prayers have went up for Journee Orji over the past few days, I would like for us all to to keep her family in our prayers in the trying days ahead for peace & comfort. I would also ask for your prayers for myself and my Deputies this has been a very emotional case for us all. I would like to add that behind the Badge we are only human also."

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